Samyang is celebrating its 50th year as a lens manufacturer and, to mark the occasion, it has just released its first-ever zoom lens – the Samyang AF 24-70 f/2.8 for Sony full-frame and APS-C mirrorless cameras. Up until 2016, Samyang only manufactured manual focus prime lenses, so this new venture into the world of zoom lenses takes Samyang one step closer to reaching the mass market.
The manufacturer has spent the last five years developing the Samyang AF 24-70mm f/2.8, which could be used on cameras such as the Sony A7 III, Sony A6400 or the brand new Sony A1. Despite some of the best standard zoom lenses that already exist, it hopes the lens' unique features will set it apart. As well as being an excellent lens for stills photography, it's also fully optimized for shooting video.
• Read more: Best Samyang lenses
One of the key features that make it perfect for shooting video is its parfocal zoom, which means that its focus does not change as the focal length is adjusted – a feature normally only seen on high-end cinema cameras (unlike varifocal zooms traditionally used in photography).
Cinematic video AF controls the speed of focus when recording video so that focus wobble is reduced, and it also includes a linear MF control that matches the torque of the focus ring to that of a manual lens.
Video capabilities aside, the Samyang AF 24-70mm f/2.8 promises excellent resolution no matter the focal zoom, even when shooting at its maximum aperture. Optimum resolution is achieved by designing the lens with seventeen elements in fourteen groups using two aspherical lens elements, one hybrid aspherical, three high refractive, and three extra-low dispersion lens elements. It has a filter thread size of 82mm, it will weigh 1.09kg and will be 128.5mm in length.
The lens boasts impressive background blur and beautiful bokeh thanks to its large-diameter aperture of f/2.8 and its 9-blade configuration. It also promises fast, quiet AF that is able to track a subject accurately, while Samyang’s linear STM (stepping motor) enables quiet, precise control of the larger and heavier lens groups. It has a short minimum focusing distance of 35cm making it perfect for close-up shots and is weather-sealed to protect the lens from light dust, snow and rain.
The suggested retail price of the Samyang AF 24-70mm f/2.8 will be £828 (approximately $1,141 / AU$1,530), and it is expected that initial stock will start to arrive in early November. In the USA, the lens will distributed under the Rokinon brand. For videographers, there is also a cine kit that can be purchased separately which will include focus gearing, a follow focus and a tripod mount.